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High Performance Luxury Sedans



  • I am interested in the 2003/4 E55 but having read some of the posts about electrical and other problems with the 2003 E500/320 I am concerned. Have any of you 2003 E55 owners had these problems? Do the AMG versions tend to have less bugs?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Since the topic has moved, can we change the title a little? The S-Type R should replace the XJR here and the Audi RS6, and I guess the Caddy CTS-V should both be added?

  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    So, you are trying to "diss" my XJR, huh?
  • How is your car doing? Keep us updated!
  • goody4goody4 Posts: 55
    ... And since they don't make the M5 anymore, we might as well drop it. After all, this isn't Great Sedans of the Past. :-)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Okay, you folks make some specific proposals for the title and let's see what everyone wants.
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    I can get someone in a brand new M5 right now. My locator shows 90 of them left for retail in the US. It's not gone yet. It's a sad thought, though. The end of an era. BMW definitely raised the bar with this SOON TO BE legendary sport sedan.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Chill Don. Since you disagreed with the automags when they said that the E55 or RS6 were better buys than the XJR I figured you'd be happy to see the XJR elevated above this class of cars, at least based on it's size, if not price. Performance wise the XJR is out of it's league with this group, especially compared to the E55 or RS6, but it's a better "luxury car" than either. The S-Type R is the midsize Jaguar sedan that should be included here. The XJR competes with the S8 (if they're any left), S55 AMG and upcoming Maserati Quattroporte.

    The Thread should be titled "The Middle Class Super Sedans"

  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    No, I did not read the automags that say that the E55 or RS6 were better buys..But, I read the Automoble Magazine and Car and Driver Reviews that lauded the XJR. However, I did see an older Eclipse on the road the other day. That made me think of you!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    All I'm saying is that the XJR competes at a higher level, no dissing was done.

  • I have driven the E55, RS6, and CTS-V, and the E55 is by far the best in terms of sheer performance, while the RS6 is definitely more refined. The CTS-V is definitely a step up for Cadillac, but it is not on par with these other super sedans especially in handling. Plus, the interior of the CTS-V is piss poor. I am definitely considering buying the E55 in the next month.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    thanks for your info. I had a 1994 XJ-12, 12 cylinders with all the luxury in the world, picnic tables, reading lights, inlaid Peruvian Boxwood, etc. It was fast , though could not handle as well as the XJR. We are considering the XJR or the E55. I agree with you that this car is awesome. Merc1 does have a point that the XJR is more luxurious, though a tad slower than the E55.
        Just tested the Volvo S60, twinturbo, and it was great fun on the slalom. We took it thru the course 5 times, and it was good fun. I think XJR, E55,& Rs6 will be faster and more fun. The seats of the Volvo were excellent, soft leather but very supportive and adjustable.
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Just so we're clear did you drive the Volvo S80 T6 (which is the big Volvo sedan with twin-turbo) or Volvo S60 (mid sized sedan with different non-turbo and turbo variants - all single turbos including the S60R)? If the S80 T6 did you try the Premier/Elite version of the T6 and did the S80 have the version of 4C active chassis that's specific to that model?

    I ask because it's rare that you hear people talk about taking the big S80 out for a slalom but the new 4C sounds perfect for the job so I'm very curious of your impressions.


  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    It's the end of an era. The M5 inventories are nearly gone. I sold one this week out of state and while the transaction was transpiring I saw them disappearing nationwide. Current locator shows but about 50 in the USA.

    There is a lot of talk about the E60 version of the M5 but I wouldn't expect it for 2005.
  • Hey, dogface5, where on earth were you able to go to drive a CTS-V????? I didn't think they were out yet!
  • They're not out yet. I got to drive a pre-production version when I was in Detroit.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Picked up the car last week. For those who are curious, feel free to ask any questions.

    Options ordered:

    Active Bi-xenon lights
    Dynamic Seats
    Ventilated Seats
    Automatic Trunk closer

    Very balanced and smooth. Highly recommended. Much better in all respect than the old W210 E55.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    What colors?

  • How long did you wait for it? Did you pay over sticker? Do you like the dynamic seats?

    Enjoy your new car!
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Color - Silver with dark grey/dark grey

    How long did I wait for it - I waited a long time as I ordered it a year ago, well before anyone has heard about the car.

    I was offered a 2003 in May 2003 but I declined as I rather have the DVD navigation Mine was built in the 2nd decade of September 2003 as the first batch of the 2004 E55.

    I paid sticker.

    I really like the dynamic seats. The side bolsters in the W211 E55 give much better support, even at the widest setting, compared to the W210 E55.

    I'm 6 foot 1 at 185 lbs and find the seats perfect. For those who are really overweight, they may find the seats a bit too narrow.

    When you corner with the dynamic seats, they do give gentle support, very cool and 'civilized'.
  • I'm seriously deciding whether to get the E55 or to wait for the new M5. Historically I've driven BMW's and I absolutely love feeling the car and the road. I hate driving my wife's caddy because it is like floating on air, and I feel like I'm not even in control of the vehicle. I'm afraid of waiting for the M5 given the recent designs out of Munich. I've never driven an MB and my local dealer said they typically make custys test drive an E500 if they are considering an E55 AMG.

    Tell me more about the car... How much do you like it vs. other cars? Acceleration is obviously unbelievable. How does it corner? What do you love, dislike about the interior?

    Should I go out and order one??
  • And what about the brake by wire? A lot of people say it is overly responsive.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I took delivery of the E55 but have also kept my order for the M5, just in case it turns out to be better than expected. However, I definitely do share your dislike over the new direction BMW is taking. BMW appears to want to try too hard to be different. Not very user friendly and the interior looks cheap in my opinion.

    About the W211 E55, it is very different from the E500 as it is much tighter with a firmer ride. If you do test drive an E500, look for a model with the sports package, and do remember to set the AirMatic suspension to the firmest setting.

    The E55 corners very well although you can feel that it is a heavy car, very solid and stable. It is a luxurious sedan with a killer engine. It does not corner as well as the R230 SL500 although it feels a lot more substantial and solid.

    Let me cut and paste some notes I posted on another board:

    + Throttle very smooth, meaning you can drive it very gently in city. Believe it or not, even my wife commented on how user friendly it is. It is surprisingly easy to slowly accelerate from stop, unlike my old W210 E55, which begged me to step on it.

    + Truly excellent view of the road ahead. Hood slopes down sharply reminding me of the 1993 Saab 9000 CSE.

    + Brilliant headlights. I ordered the active bi-xenons. Simply the best headlights I have ever used, much better than the R230 SL500 and W210 E55. Yes, these lights swivel when you corner as well, a subtle improvement.

    + I enjoy the dynamic seats and rear automatic trunk - very civilized and neat options.

    + Huge trunk and very supportive front seats.

    + Very smooth ride, far better than the R230 SL500 (with standard wheels) and the W210 E55. The W211 E55 (in the sportiest suspension II setting) has marginally more lean than the R230 (with ABC set on firm), but perfectly acceptable for a sedan. Excellent trade off considering the smooth ride.

    + Very rigid body no creaks and rattles like the R230 SL500.

    + DVD COMAND is CD Text compatible! Now I want to copy all my CDs adding the CD Text feature so that the CD title and tracks will be displayed on screen. CD Text works not only in the single dash player but also in the changer (where it would also display the CD title). (For those who are familiar with the R230 CD COMAND, the W211 COMAND does not allow one to program and name a CD on screen but the CD Text feature is even better, well at least for those who can burn their CDs).

    + Brake by wire is fine, a huge improvement over the R230 SL500, for street use at least, as I do not late brake and will have little idea how the brakes behave on the track.

    + In dash CD changer is nice and I would recommend going for the Pro-logic 7 with the improved sound.

    + So is the double sun visor.

    + Very luxurious interior with the nappa leather, the climate controlled ventilated seats are useful for long trips. I read some others concerned with the seat width, for me at 6 foot 1 and 185 lbs., it fits me very well.

    + I did not go for the double glass moon roof as I just have enough head room.

    - Did not order distronic as I find the option too expensive for what you get.

    - Glove box is smaller than I expected.

    - As far as ease of use, I find the DVD COMAND not as good as I expected. The CD COMAND on the R230 SL was actually a bit more user friendly, with more marked buttons. In the W211 DVD COMAND, one has to press one of the blank buttons before one can magnify the map. However, obviously the DVD is miles ahead as far as content goes with North America in a single disk.

    - Marginally less rear seat room than the W210.

    - The car sounds like a muscle car, a bit too noisy for my taste but no where as bad as the R230 SL500 with the annoying whine at 1,500 rpm. Most enthusiasts would enjoy the engine sound. I enjoy the speed more than anything, and would prefer Lexus like quietness for my music.

    + And have I mentioned the immense power reserve? It’s simply amazing. You can pass most cars in traffic like a reckless crazy driver before hitting 3,000 rpm!

    +The greatest asset of this car is how well it can handle the power, its smoothness in comfort setting and overall civility. I thought the W210 E55 was a balanced super sedan, the W211 E55 manages to be just that much better.
  • cb44cb44 Posts: 87
    Thanks for the detailed review, a couple of questions:

    • Isn't the Logic 7 system standard on E55?

    • Can you confirm that the radio station select buttons on the steering wheel do NOT allow for preset selection. In other words, you can't surf radio presets from the steering wheel controls.

    • Any XM or Sirrus radio capability or AUX connector allowing for iPod hookup?
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    1. Pro Logic 7 may be standard in the US, but it is actually an option for Canadian E55s. Bi-xenon on the other hand, is an option in the US while a standard feature in Canadian E55s.

    2. You are correct, unlike the W210 or R230, the W211 steering wheel buttons do NOT allow one to surf radio presets.

    3. On Canadian cars, we do not have SAT or XM however, for those with DVD COMAND, there is an Aux input for iPod, in the glove box. In the Audio menu, you can select Aux. I am quite sure this is a feature in the US COMAND equipped cars as well.
  • cb44cb44 Posts: 87


    I am amazed that a car that is so advanced and filled with computerized engineering cannot allow you to change a radio preset using wheel controls.

    I know it sounds picky, but when an entry level compact car has this you would think an $80K plus car would also. Sounds like a slip up as opposed to a planned design "feature". Then again maybe I should just stick with a song for the entire song ;-)
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Yeah, it's a definite an overlook but luckily for me, I usually play my own CDs in the car and had never been pleased with the FM reception of most modern cars anyway so it's not a big deal.
  • cb44cb44 Posts: 87
    You mentioned "another board" in an earlier post. If it is the same one I think it is, do you know why it has been down now for a week.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I have no idea but you know where I am these days.

    Have you made up your mind about the E55?
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